It's not exactly a small world at Disney (NYSE:DIS), and the family entertainment giant hopes to prove that when it reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results after Thursday's market close.
Disney is on a roll. The stock hit an all-time high on Friday, and it's going to have to live up to these new heights with this week's report. Let's take a look at three things investors should keep an eye on in breaking down the fresh financials.
1. Keep the earnings beats coming
One thing that has helped keep shareholders happy is that Disney has beaten Wall Street's profit targets nearly every quarter under CEO Bob Iger's watch.
Analysts see another strong period of bottom-line growth at the House of Mouse. They see a profit of $0.88 a share, up from $0.77 a share a year earlier.
It seems aggressive. Revenue is only projected to climb 7% to $12.4 billion. However, after seeing Disney land ahead of Wall Street's profit targets more often than not -- including every single quarter over the past year -- the smart money has to be on Disney clocking in with more than $0.88 a share.
2. Content is still king
There's no denying that Disney is a master content creator. Investors got a glimpse of things to come last week when it hosted a media event at its El Capitan Theatre to unveil its upcoming slate of Marvel movies.
It's not just Marvel's rich catalog of superheroes giving Disney potent fodder for the future, either. Disney's slate of movies set to hit a multiplex near you during 2015 include the highly anticipated seventh Star Wars movie and Pixar's Emotions. There's already plenty of hype for Star Wars: Episode VII, but let's not forget about Pixar. Disney debuted a new trailer for the computer-animated Emotions last month, cashing in on Pixar's pedigree.
Disney will probably play up its impressive lineup of upcoming cinematic releases after bragging about its strong summertime showing this time around. It's an undeniable strength at Disney. It may as well pat its own back if wants Mr. Market to follow suit.
3. Consumer products and Disney Interactive have streaks to stretch, too
Theme parks, ESPN, and theatrical blockbusters have been the big drivers for Disney over the years, but the stock's fresh all-time highs are the handiwork of the media giant running on all cylinders. All five of Disney's operating segments are doing well, and that includes consumer products and Disney Interactive.
The two segments may not amount to much, ringing up $4.6 billion -- or a little more than 10% -- of the $45 billion in revenue that Disney served up in fiscal 2013. However, the strong growth in Disney-licensed products and the turnaround at its gaming arm continue. Consumer products is coming off of four consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in revenue and operating income. Disney Interactive has pulled off four straight quarters of profitability, fueled by the success of last year's Disney Infinity product line.
The streaks should continue. Consumer products will benefit from another quarter of favorable year-over-year Frozen-related comparable results. Disney Interactive is also unlikely to revert back to its deficit-saddled days as long as its Skylanders-like Disney Infinity keeps growing in popularity.
Disney's been right far more often than it's been wrong lately, and that should play out again come Thursday afternoon.